Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More on Lost Tapes

I intend to go into more depth on the new Animal Planet series, Lost Tapes, but having just been introduced to the new show last night, I'm reserving my comments for one, very good, reason: it's not real.

The disclaimer at the opening of the show proclaims the following a "story inspired by the possibility that hidden creatures may exist." However, the entire premise of the show is that we are seeing actual, "lost" tapes - one episode even claimed the tapes featured in the episode were later found by aborigines right outside their village... Further, Animal Planet intersperses the "lost" footage with actual footage (that is, footage collected by cryptozoologists which is purported to be, at the very least, not hoaxed material - insofar as expert analysis can tell) and actual lore, zoological facts, and so forth. As they launched tonight's episodes with two, pretty good, episodes focusing on the more scientific approaches to both Champ and Bigfoot (episodes which originally appeared on other Discovery Network channels), it even further occluded the series' fictional basis.

I instantly began searching for the names of the people who were featured and, as others noted on the boards, it was to no avail. While I realized much of the footage was "reenactment" stuff featuring actors, the question remains as to whether or not any of these stories are actually based on real events. At any rate, I feel certain that if ever a game warden named Rachel H. Glen actually captured an unknown, and possibly Bigfoot, image on film, I - of all people - would be able to find at least a mention of it somewhere online - specifically because so much of the episode was centered on her webcam "podcasts." I say this because I already ferreted-out the better sites collecting such things a while back, and I try to stay on top of such developments because... well, this blog and shit.

I have no problem with Lost Tapes being a mockumentary; I have a problem with it being intentionally passed-off as, you know, possibly real - maybe - with that tongue-in-cheek "What do you think?" intonation.

Shame on you, Animal Planet. Shame on you for your new, twisted "M" logo and focus on lurid, pandering material (such as the new "animal deaths" show they promoted so heavily throughout the run tonight). If you want to get in on the cryptozoology game - and why not, it is your cup o' tea, after all - do what the other networks did: throw a little money at it and actually make one! Heck, just do what all the rest of them did to make that money: compile a show or two from the existing evidence! Throw in a couple interviews for $20-50 a pop and heap on some flashy, "twisted-M" computer graphics in post, and voila!

It ain't rocket surgery.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

7 comments:

  1. I was fine with the show..accepting it's approach .trying to be open-minded.Finding the legends and opinions interesting...until I saw the one ,in which ,you are referring to the film being found by australian aborine's outside of their village..The one in which "Cash Peters" dies slowly from the bite of the Giant megalolian..or however they called it(Giant Lizard )It was very disturbing and real as I have ever seen.I was a beginning fan when his tv series "Stranded" suddenly vanished under the excuse that it did not see enough ratings..Funny on one site the last mention of his next weeks show being where he is dropped off in the autralian outback..hmmHmmm..(CURIOUS)..there are some weak comments about no news and cancelled ..no detail or update..then you just find nothing about him..like he dropped off the face of the earth..Seems like ..Quickly after that.. copy cats came out with "Suvivor Man" and others..leaving me to wonder.Is this footage real..at this point and lack of mention as to him anywhere..I tend to believe it is.Not so much with the other..but this one is still haunting me..What do you think?

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  2. I think it's all bullshit, I really do. That was a good episode and I admit, either that guy was a really good actor or there could be something to the story.

    However, I would be more inclined to believe producers have setup dummy sites and the like to further perpetuate the "reality" of the show online. If this is true, this is a blatant act of misinformation and could be prosecutable, but I'm not sure.

    In fact, that's a good idea for a post, as some hoaxes have been prosecuted, though many have not.

    If anyone learns more about this "Cash Peters," please let us know and we will do a follow-up. I am not personally familiar with the man or his work and have limited offline resources.

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  3. I have to say, I'm pretty disgusted with the whole Lost Tapes thing. What do they really think they're doing muddying up the waters? I'm pretty skeptical most of the time, but even I was beyond concerned last night when watching the episode supposedly starring Cash Peters. That actor was NOT Cash - not the Cash that I have seen since googling him all morning. The real Cash is fine and very much alive; I just emailed him on his website. I'm fine with shows that discuss what could be, but to show a "lost tape" of what supposedly is this guy dying before our eyes is just not okay. I appreciate the blog - other Lost Tape episodes are much less realistic, but their discussion at the end of the shows regarding the people involved in the "Lost Tapes" continue to make it seem as though they are discussing real people - Animal Planet has hit a new low and should be held accountable.

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  4. Thanks, Anon!

    I agree, and what makes it double concerning is the fact that they used a real guy's name - a real guy who apparently really does these survivalist-type shows, to boot! - to further their show.

    I like your phrasing, "muddying up the waters," because that is precisely what it is. It isn't curing cancer, but a lot of people have devoted a significant portion of their lives (if not the whole thing) to cryptozoology and whether you are a skeptic or believer, you should have some respect for them - at least those who aren't dismissively... you know, nuts.

    Just when shows like Destination Truth and MonsterQuest start making the slightest bit of headway (with what little evidence they have uncovered - anecdotal though most of it is), we get Lost Tapes.

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  5. Thanks again for bringing more information to this to light. I received an email back from Cash this afternoon. He had not heard about the episode and thought it was all very bizarre. I encouraged him to blog about it himself. If you go on the blogs about it on Animal Planets' sight, there are people who really believe the guy in the show died. Again, I just have to say it's not right. I'm an avid fan of Monsterquest and Destination Truth. Some of them get a little boring, but at least you know it's only because they aren't making anything up. It just makes it all that much harder when people really try to prove that some of these animals are real. Thanks again for offering a place for me to voice my opinion. My only desire with all of this is for Animal Planet to own up and take the pieces off the show that make it appear they are talking about real people and real tapes that have been found. Just say outright that the tapes are fake.

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  6. Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath. The show is pretty much a one-trick pony.

    The acting is not very good (ostensibly to further the whole "reality" angle). The video-quality film and intentionally amateurish camera-work - the overall production value - is much the same.

    Lost Tapes has only one thing going for it: the fact that some people will see it and believe it is real; without that, it's just a bad show.

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  7. what really gets me with this show is the fact that 1. im a really huge fan of animal planet, 2. you have this out there trying to show WHAT couldve possibly have happened but falls short due to poor acting and lack of actual footage...it really bugs me because you have all this actual footage of ufo sitings and military stuff, but when it comes to this kind of stuff people fail to provide factual evidence...i think personally that " the lost tapes was more of a debunking effort as opposed to show a " maybe " idea...i remember hearing something about the " thunderbird" situation on the news a while back and thats the only 1 i actually think might have some credence...its sad and really aggravating to see how producers try to prey on peoples psychological fears...if you want to prove something or at least try to show an plausable alternative explanation to a certain event then 1 should show evidence or footage of some kind, just my opinion

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